In early September, Colorado Governor, Jarid Polis declared Sept. 6 through Sept. 12 Youth Awareness Week. The week featured daily activities to celebrate and honor youth with professional development and engagement opportunities.
In his proclamation, the governor stated, “Youth are our future leaders and regardless if they are within an institutional setting, cross-system or non-system, they are intelligent, passionate and resilient individuals and the Colorado Youth Leadership Network helps these youths achieve their goals.”
The YouthZone staff stands behind this declaration wholeheartedly. The services provided here celebrate youth and provide opportunity for growth that can lead to a healthy, successful future. In fact, a 20-year study showed that 90% of the adolescents who go through YouthZone programs do not repeat another offense, are less likely to continue to abuse substances, and showed higher self-esteem.
Often the successes that come from working with YouthZone are unspoken or unknown to the YouthZone staff. But sometimes we get to see a token of the gratitude that comes from the relationships created here. Lately, the community has been reaching out.
One recent note reads, “In celebration of Justin G’s 50th birthday. YouthZone helped him out a few times during his adolescent years! Thanks for your work!” This note was from Justin’s mother along with a donation, showing her gratitude as well as the longevity of the impacts that YouthZone can have on the youth in our community.
Simple notions like these not only bring warmth to our staff, but also reinforce YouthZone’s mission of fostering positive youth development for teens from Parachute to Aspen. We have been dedicated to families in this area since 1976, and we get to help even more families become stronger and healthier every year.
Another note YouthZone received reads, “Thank you so much for your beautiful card and remembrances of my mom… She loved people and believed passionately in helping others. Her values will live on in organizations such as yours.”
This note was written by the adult children of a diligent past YouthZone volunteer, and also included her favorite quote, “Life is short, and we do not have too much time to gladden the hearts of those who travel with us. So be swift to love and make haste to be kind.” – Henry Amiel
We also received a note from YouthZone’s first Executive Director, Patty Phelps, who hasn’t been affiliated with YouthZone for more than thirty years.
She wrote, “I always said that my claim to fame was keeping GYS alive during the Reagan years. We took pay cuts, fewer hours, and started charging for some services. I really don’t know how any nonprofits will make it through but here’s a little to help.”
Patty’s kind words and gift exemplify the longevity of the relationships that are formed with time at YouthZone. Notes like these show that the work done at YouthZone can last a lifetime, but we need community members like you to keep us going. Youth are our future, and they need the tools to succeed.
YouthZone strives to enhance the quality of life in our communities through prevention, support, parent education and direct services. YouthZone offers affordable services to the community to be as inclusive as possible. This includes offering scholarships for those who cannot always foot the bill of the services they need.
As a nonprofit, it’s very important to remain accessible to any youth who seek YouthZone’s services. However, this kind of accessibility takes diligent fundraising efforts. Donors like you keep YouthZone working for a brighter future for the youth and families of the valley and building a stronger community.
If you would like to support YouthZone’s work, please visit https://youthzone.com/give and donate today.